It is impossible to rewrite history but we can perpetually revise our understanding and interpretation of what happened in the past. A notable example of this can be found on a plaque in Mérignac that marks the area where Beaudésert internment camp was once located.
Invisible Bordeaux published a full investigation into the WW2 camp back in 2013. Initially set up as a detention centre for “undesirable foreigners” in 1940, it evolved into a camp for political prisoners. It went on to hold other communities such as Jews, Spanish Republicans, members of the Résistance, black market traffickers and prostitutes, along with individuals who refused to comply with the Nazis’ forced labour policy (STO: Service du travail obligatoire). For many who were held there, it was a penultimate stop before being sent to concentration camps or ahead of execution at the nearby Camp de Souge.
|A McDonald's outlet can now be found in the area where the internment camp was once located.|
|The previous version of the plaque, complete |
with the belated addition of the word "Tsiganes".
Plus de douze cents Résistants, Internés Politiques, Tsiganes, Juifs, réfractaires au S.T.O. ont séjourné dans ce camp avant d’être dirigés vers DRANCY et les camps de la mort ou d’être exécutés comme otages au camp de Souge.
|Three layers of marble so far, how many more are destined to be added?|
- Find it on the Invisible Bordeaux map:
- Beaudésert internment camp memorial, Rue des Châtaigniers, Mérignac